Marriage: It’s Not Just About the Wedding
I’ve been engaged for about 4 months now. The first question out of those who know: “When’s the wedding day?!” A friend of mine, who happens to be several years younger than me (I’m 25) commented on how she couldn’t wait to be engaged, to have a beautiful diamond on her finger and the promise to be with someone forever. I was a little caught off guard because she’s so young, but in the area I live, young marriages are not uncommon. But I was surprised by how passionate she was about the idea of engagement.
It made me realize something. Some people get very caught up in the idea of the wedding itself, as opposed to the marriage. The wedding is one day. Months and months of planning go into this one day; no details can be overlooked, every inch of everything must be shiny and impressive, and good lord help you if something gets on the dress. But sometimes, you forget that once the wedding day is over, you go back to everyday life, only now you’re permanently, legally, forever-more attached as wife and husband.
So when Jason asked me to spend the rest of our lives together, I had to stop and think. (Calm down, I wasn’t going to say no.) I plan to spend the rest of my life with him and yes, that is an effin’ scary concept to me; it always has been a terrifying idea, until I realized Jason is one of the best things to ever happen to me. But I had to remind myself that this isn’t something you take lightly. Marriage is a partnership of everything. You are, in essence, giving up part of yourself to another person. This isn’t to say you are becoming a different person. What I mean is that, in my opinion of marriage, you are agreeing to give yourself up to the other. You agree to love, care, honor, respect, and support your partner for the rest of your lives. Stop for just a moment and think about how long the rest of your life will (hopefully) be. That’s a LOT of days, hour, and minutes to give up for yourself and devote to another! Am I unselfish enough to sacrifice my time, energy, and love to him? Yes, without a doubt, I feel I can and will. But many people forget this–they get so caught up in planning one day that they argue, fight, maybe even throw a video game controller or two. They forget the whole purpose of the wedding is to be married.
I have to keep reminding myself that marriage is not just my mom and I wedding dress shopping. It’s me and Jason, buying a house, taking our dog to the vet, agreeing to make dinner in rather than spend money out. It’s everyday, normal stuff, but now you’re in it for real. Just because you’re married, it doesn’t change your everyday lives into something magical. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to work any less harder than before to make it work, make it wonderful. And sometimes it’s just downright responsibility–now we have to talk about mortgages, bank accounts, whose family to see at holidays. But you do it because you want to, because you vow to be there, because you know there’s no other place in the world you’d rather be. I just hope that other people remember this, that they don’t dive into marriage just to have a wedding. The wedding is one day of fun, but marriage is a serious lifetime responsibility that should never be discussed lightly. You need to want it, to love it, to know not just your partner, but yourself inside and out.
Marriage, at some times, should be exciting and hectic. You should celebrate new things together, reminisce over the old memories, and hold hands facing the future. But it should also be grounded and realistic, because you should never be naive of what could happen, be it a busted water heater in your new home’s basement, a sick relative, or even a divorce because you failed to realize you didn’t want to sacrifice for anyone else. To me, marriage is a serious thing. And I need to remind myself of this once in a while so I don’t get caught up in just that one day. I would hope that others feel similar, so that I can be comforted in the fact that I’m not the only one who doesn’t rush into anything just so I can wear that white dress for a few hours. It’s going to be a great/fabulous/amazing/fantastic day. It will be the best day of my life…thus far. I have so many memories I want to make and I don’t plan on making my wedding the last one. Marriage will be an adventure, full of ups and downs, but you’re together-forever! We should enjoy it, even after wedding cupcakes and dancing the night away are substituted for Chinese food on the couch in pajamas with a dog sitting between you. That was my Sunday night. I can’t wait to have many more of them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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